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Complaining about exams

Any complaints about exams must be received by the Studies Administration Office at the Faculty of Arts no later than 14 days after the exam result in question has been announced. You should not expect complaints received any later than this to be processed.

Your complaint must be submitted no later than two (2) weeks after release of assessment. For oral examinations, the deadline runs from the date when your examination takes place and you also receive your examination result. For written examinations, the deadline runs from the date when your examination result was released. However, the deadline for filing complaints always runs no earlier than from the date that has been announced as the date of public release of marks.

Before submitting a complaint, you should (if possible) discuss the points you are complaining about with the teacher responsible for the course concerned.

You are responsible for explaining the reasons for your complaint, providing a good basis for the people making a decision about it. This means that you must provide a written explanation: what you are complaining about, and why you are complaining. You must state your reasons very carefully. It is a good idea to refer to the learning objectives for the course in question (as stated in the academic regulations).

The rules relating to complaints about exams are stated in section 7 of ministerial order no. 1062 of 30 June 2016 on university examinations and grading (eksamensbekendtgørelsen).

All complaints should be addressed to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

Complaints about courses at the School of Communication and Culture or the School of Culture and Society should be sent to:

Studies Administration Office, Faculty of Arts
Aarhus University Tåsingegade 3,
1442 DK-8000 Aarhus C.
Email: eksamensklage.arts.aarhus@au.dk

Complaints about subjects at the School of Education in both Aarhus and Copenhagen should be sent to:

Studies Administration Office, Faculty of Arts
Attn.: Study Centre
Tuborgvej 164
Building A, 115
2400 Copenhagen NV.
Email: studiecenter.arts.emdrup@au.dk 

Here are some guidelines about the procedure involved in making a complaint:

What are you complaining about?

The basis of the exam (questions, assignments etc.) – The way the exam was conducted – The assessment (the grade) – Legal issues (the exam was in contravention of ministerial orders and laws) – Defects and mistakes in connection with the exam (e.g. noise or technical problems) You can complain about both oral and written exams. Complaints about exams may not contain complaints about supervision and/or teaching. Any problems of this kind should be included in the standard evaluation of the teaching, or should be taken up with the director of studies of the school concerned.

  • The basis of the exam (questions, assignments etc.)
  • The way the exam was conducted
  • The assessment (the grade)
  • Legal issues (the exam was in contravention of ministerial orders and laws)
  • Defects and mistakes in connection with the exam (e.g. noise or technical problems)

You can complain about both oral and written exams.

Complaints about exams may not contain complaints about supervision and/or teaching. Any problems of this kind should be included in the standard evaluation of the teaching, or should be taken up with the director of studies of the school concerned.

Please note the following points before submitting a complaint

Your complaint may result in a lower grade. Re-assessment or re-examination may result in your grade being reduced, and you may not complain about this new grade. 

Your complaint must be made within two weeks of the announcement of your exam result.

You may not complain anonymously. The people dealing with your complaint can see your name and other details, but all case officers have a duty of confidentiality. 

It is always a good idea to have a chat with the teacher about the exam/assessment concerned before submitting a complaint because he/she may be able to explain the reasons for this assessment. However, please note that your teacher is not obliged to give you feedback on your assessment.

You are responsible for explaining the reasons for your complaint, providing a good basis for the people making a decision about it. This means that you must provide a written explanation: what you are complaining about, and why you are complaining. You must state your reasons very carefully. It is a good idea to refer to the learning objectives for the course in question (as stated in the academic regulations).

Complaints about group exams may only relate to your own performance, and you may not submit complaints on behalf of a fellow student. In other words, you may only complain about the assessment of your part of an assignment, and groups may not submit joint/identical complaints. There may be points that overlap in complaints submitted by several group members, but each group member must focus on his/her individual performance because this is the part of the assignment on which the individual assessment has been based.

After oral exams it is a good idea to write down everything that was said during the exam as soon as possible, as well as keeping any notes you made during your preparation time.

Normal procedure when complaints are submitted

Complaints must be received by the Studies Administration Office at the Faculty of Arts no later than two weeks after the assessment has been announced. The two-week period for submitting complaints does not start until the final deadline for announcing the assessment.

When your complaint has been received, you will be given a receipt confirming that this has happened. We will then send your complaint to the original assessors, who have two weeks to issue a statement.

This statement will be sent to you, after which you have one week to submit any comments to the Studies Administration Office.

The university will then make a decision based on your complaint, the statement by the assessors and your comments. There is no deadline for this decision, but it will be made as soon as possible.

The university will reach one of the following conclusions:

  • You will be given an offer of re-assessment by new assessors (only possible for written exams)
  • You will be given an offer of re-examination with new assessors
  • Your complaint will be rejected

You and the assessors will be informed of the decision.

Please note that accepting the option of a re-examination or re-assessment may result in a change in your grade.

It normally takes 1-2 months (July not included) to process an exam complaint.

Appealing against decisions

If your complaint is rejected, you may submit it to a board of appeals. However, this board of appeals can only consider academic issues – not legal issues, or issues relating to defects or mistakes in the exam concerned. 

The deadline for submitting an appeal is two weeks after you receive the decision about your complaint. The demands applying to appeals are the same as those applying to complaints (for instance, they must be in writing stating the reasons, they must be addressed to the dean, and they must be sent to the Studies Administration Office).

The board of appeals consists of two external co-examiners, a member of teaching staff entitled to conduct exams, and a student from the subject area concerned. 

The board of appeals must make a decision no more than two months after appeals are submitted (not including July), and you will be informed as soon as possible.

The board of appeals will reach one of the following conclusions:

  • You will be given an offer of re-assessment by new assessors (only possible for written exams)
  • You will be given an offer of re-examination with new assessors
  • Your appeal will be rejected

Please note that accepting the option of re-examination or re-assessment may result in a change in your grade.

The decision of the board of appeals is final, so you may not continue to complain about academic issues.

Complaints about legal issues

If you wish to complain about a legal issue in connection with the decision (for instance whether the case has been processed in accordance with current law and whether the university’s ruling lies within the framework provided by law), you are entitled under section 48 of the examination order (eksamensbekendtgørelsen) to submit the case to the university.

Any such complaints must be received by the university no more than two weeks after you have been informed of the decision.

Complaints about legal issues must also be sent to the Studies Administration Office at the Faculty of Arts.  

The university will then prepare a statement on which you will be given the opportunity to comment before forwarding the complaint, the statement and your comments, if any, to the Danish Agency for Higher Education.

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